New Mexico county official convicted of January 6 trespassing refuses to certify 2022 primary results based on debunked conspiracy

“I am not preparing to go off my placement,” Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin said in a phone interview with CNN on Thursday. “Why have a commission if we just get overridden by the court process?”

The Point out Supreme Court docket on Wednesday, performing on an crisis request from New Mexico Secretary of Point out Maggie Toulouse Oliver, a Democrat, requested the Otero County commissioners to certify the key results by Friday — the statutory deadline for county certification. The commissioners had declined to do so before in the 7 days, citing distrust of Dominion voting devices.

Commission Chairwoman Vickie Marquardt and Commissioner Gerald Matherly have not responded to CNN’s inquiries, and it can be not distinct how they intend to vote.

Griffin, a founder for Cowboys for Trump, was uncovered guilty in a March bench demo of trespassing on US Capitol grounds on January 6, 2021, even though then-Vice President Mike Pence was there. He is scheduled to be sentenced Friday in Washington.

On Thursday, Griffin instructed CNN that he’s “not making an attempt to overturn an election. We want transparency.”

“The much more they try out to combat us and shut us down,” he mentioned, “the more of a skeptic I will turn into.”

Otero County is one of the 1st identified communities to balk at certifying election effects. The dispute in this Republican stronghold of around 68,000 people has sparked fears among voting rights authorities that conspiracy theories about voting devices and other elements of election administration have taken deep root in some pockets of the country and could lead to further disruptions this tumble.

The commissioners cited their issues about Dominion voting machines in refusing to certify the success at a Monday conference.

“I have big issues with these voting equipment,” Marquardt stated at the time. “I genuinely do. I just really don’t feel in my coronary heart that they cannot be manipulated.”

On Thursday, Oliver questioned the state’s attorney standard to examine the commission around various current steps.

In the referral to Attorney Normal Hector Balderas, a fellow Democrat, Oliver stated associates of the Otero County Fee have taken “numerous illegal actions” this thirty day period — together with declining to certify the benefits of the June 7 most important, purchasing the removal of ballot-fall bins and voting to discontinue to the use of vote-tallying devices.

“All county officers choose an oath to uphold the structure and laws of New Mexico,” Oliver explained in a news release. “The Commissioners in Otero County have violated the public’s believe in and our point out legislation by means of their recent steps and must be held accountable.”

A very little much more than 7,300 Otero County voters solid ballots in the primary, according to the secretary of state’s office environment. Counties will have to certify effects so nominees’ names can be placed on the November ballot. And one far too-close-to-contact neighborhood race involving two Republican candidates awaits the certification ahead of an automated recount can begin.

Griffin has been an outspoken backer of previous President Donald Trump, and he and the other Otero commissioners earlier this yr licensed a 3rd-get together evaluate of the county’s 2020 election outcomes. It included an “audit pressure” of volunteers likely door to door to problem voters. Trump received the county by additional than 25 factors in 2020.
An oversight committee in the US Household of Associates has questioned the Justice Division to examine the door-to-door canvassing in Otero County, citing the potential for voter intimidation. The key portion of the critique was contracted out to a enterprise known as EchoMail, which had been associated in a controversial evaluate of the 2020 election final results in Maricopa County, Arizona. Its get the job done for Otero County finished early — as federal lawmakers commenced to inquire questions.
A settlement arrangement concerning the county and the company mentioned “No Election Fraud” had been found.

In a assertion this 7 days, a Dominion spokesperson named the controversy in Otero “nonetheless an additional case in point of how lies about Dominion have damaged our company and diminished the public’s faith in elections.”

This story and headline have been current.